Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Christianity and Society - Patrick Brown, Youth Pastor

Christianity should transform society.
what we see is Society transforming Christianity.   Shouldn't be this way.

Why is this?
Is Christian faith not capable of transforming society?
OR, perhaps
people who claim Christianity are not actually entering into the faith.

How do you enter into the Christian faith?
Answer:  Rom. 1:1 - hearing and accepting the gospel.

To understand the gospel, must understand that Jesus is the only way!

Often people accept Jesus as Savior but are missing obedience to the faith and to Jesus' teachings.

Rom. 1:16 - how to enter the true faith - believe the Gospel has the power to save.

Question:  Why would people claim to be Christian when they are not?

What is the means of entering into the true faith?    Ans.  Hearing and accepting the gospel.

So.... Maybe people are accepting a false gospel or don't understand the true gospel.

Two Gospel Presentations:
#1.  Subjective - private, personal, proven by appeal to internal evidence such as feelings, or state of mind known only to the person.
The best ice cream in the world is chocolate almond.  This is personal truth - just ask me - this is what I believe - this is what I feel.  It's all about me!

#2.  Objective - public, not merely personal, proven by appeal to external evidence such as facts of history, reasonable arguments, evidence provided by science, evidence provided by Scripture.
Nobody is special in this case.

Possible results of the Two types of Gospel presentations:
#1.  Subjective gospel may result in:
        a)  an emphasis on the person instead of God, God including all three persons of the Trinity.
       b)  a "one time experience" due to proof being derived from personal experience
       c)  feelings
       d)  a lack of security due to changing of person's feelings

#2.  Objective gospel may result in:
       a)  emphasis on God rather than the person
       b)  a focus on growing in the faith as opposed to focus on the "salvation" experience
      c)  closer look at the evidence as opposed to feelings
      d)  a greater confidence and security due to a growing understanding of the faith

Paul's support of Gospel is objective type of claim:  Acts 17:1-4, 6, 7, 16-17

Paul's Gospel = power to save because people forced to make a decision.
What separates Christianity from other religions is subjective feelings vs objective evidence!

Understanding Christian faith in objective/public way enables Christianity to be communicated to the public.
 Three benefits:
       1)  Christianity shapes culture
       2)  Strengthening of the believer's faith
       3)  Communicating the gospel and evangelizing unbelievers

Example of objectively communicating that the Bible is God's Word:
Skeptic:  Why do you believe that the Bible is God's Word, and the Book of Mormon or the Koran is not?

Six reasons to believe Bible is God's Word.  (going to use hand to help remember)

#1.  Pinkie - Prophecy - especially those concerning birth of Jesus   Isa. 7:14, 53:2-12

#2. Ring finger - Bible has tremendous unity.    God's covenant with Abraham is carried right through to the New Testament and fulfilled by Jesus of Nazareth.

#3.  Big finger - the Bible answers the Big questions of life
                  - where did the universe come from?
                  - what is our purpose in life?
                  - what is wrong with the world?
                  - what is the solution?
                  - what happens when we die?

#4.  Index finger - the Bible = historically accurate index
                        - many claims of the Bible are supported by historical evidence
                        - Christianity's main claim, that Jesus of Nazareth was crucified and resurrected from the dead is supported by history

#5.  The thumb - the Emperor giving the "thumbs up" signal after a gladiator won his battle meant life for the gladiator.
                - the truths found in the Bible give life

#6.  The fist:  the Bible is a fighter
                - many people have tried to destroy the Bible through the years
                - the Bible's answers to the big questions are still accurate today

(study to be continued as opportunity arises)


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